An early career teacher’s approach to designing learning with technology
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 13:43 by Lauren Knussen
The push for technology integration into primary schools has been shown to place increased pressure on early career teachers. A proposed solution to the increasing complexity of teachers’ planning processes lies in the field of learning design. For early career teachers, approaching the planning of learning from a design perspective involves sharing and adapting designs created by more experienced teachers. This may support the development of early career teachers’ thinking and decision making during planning. In order to develop learning design strategies or systems for early career teachers, more needs to be understood about the design processes they currently follow. This thesis presents a case study of an early career teacher’s process of designing learning with technology. The analysis of multiple data sources,including interviews and observations of practice, was carried out through the theoretical framework of activity theory. Activity theory facilitates the investigation of the context of an activity. The study found that the teacher approached designing technology-enhanced learning in both systematic and non-systematic ways. The approach was found to differ according to the focus of the lesson, whether delivering content (non-systematic) or addressing the requirements of an assessment (systematic). The teacher’s design process with technology was strongly influenced by her students’ English language and technology literacy needs. This attention to student needs showed a level of sophisticated thinking influenced by the teacher’s context, which reflects recent research in teacher expertise development. Implications for learning design research are that design processes need to be flexible enough to account for contextual variables in order to create effective supports for early career teachers.